Khatia Buniatishvili: Labyrinth

Record and Artist Details

Genre:

Instrumental

Label: Sony Classical

Media Format: CD or Download

Media Runtime: 79

Mastering:

DDD

Catalogue Number: 19439 79577-2

19439 79577-2. Khatia Buniatishvili: Labyrinth

Tracks:

Composition Artist Credit
Once Upon a Time in America, Movement: Deborah's Theme Ennio Morricone, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
(3) Gymnopédies, Movement: No. 1, Lent et douloureux Erik Satie, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
(24) Preludes, Movement: No 4 Fryderyk Chopin, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
Etudes, Book 1, Movement: Arc-en-ciel György Ligeti, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
(4) Orchestral Suites, Movement: No. 2 in B minor, BWV1067 (flute & strings) Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
(4) Orchestral Suites, Movement: No. 3 in D, BWV1068 (2 oboes, 3 trumpets, strings Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
(14) Songs, Movement: No. 14, Vocalise (wordless: rev 1915) Sergey Rachmaninov, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
La Javanaise Serge Gainsbourg, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
Valsa da dor Heitor Villa-Lobos, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
Livres de clavecin, Book 2, Movement: 6th Ordre (B flat) François Couperin, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
Concerto for Organ and Strings, Movement: Sicilienne Bach/Vivaldi, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
(6) Pieces, Movement: No. 2, Intermezzo in A Johannes Brahms, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
Pari Intervallo Arvo Pärt, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
(The) Hours, Movement: "I'm Going to Make a Cake" Philip Glass, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
Sonatas for Keyboard Nos. 1-555, Movement: D minor (L423) Domenico Scarlatti, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
(6) Consolations, Movement: Lento placido Franz Liszt, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
4'33' John Cage, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano
Concerto (after Marcello), Movement: Adagio Johann Sebastian Bach, Composer
Khatia Buniatishvili, Piano

Khatia Buniatishvili is a pianist of extremes. She has fantastic fingers, a charismatic stage presence, a warm, glowing tone and strongly expressed ideas. A number of concerto performances on YouTube leave you in no doubt about her phenomenal gifts. But, too often, she makes strange, unsupportable musical decisions. Try her live (online) Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No 2, for example, a display that does neither Liszt nor Buniatishvili any favours. And then turn to the present recording.

Some of the pieces she has chosen, the majority of which are quiet and reflective in character, are played so slowly that you wonder if the pianist has dozed off. Everything stops mid-phrase. Nothing is happening. The opening ‘Deborah’s Theme’ (from Once Upon a Time in America) is tortuously elongated, so that all semblance of its essential vocal line disappears. In a short piece such as Liszt’s Consolation No 3, the difference of a whole minute’s longer duration compared to Freire, Barenboim, Arrau and Horowitz (all about 4'25") is redolent of mannered self-indulgence, while the sparse texture and long lines of Arvo Pärt’s Pari intervallo cannot possibly support such a snail’s pace. Elsewhere, Chopin’s E minor Prelude and the transcription of ‘Vocalise’ open plaintively but are then driven to emotional climaxes quite alien to their original design. Most irritating of all is the inclusion of John Cage’s 4'33", conceivably interesting in the concert hall but not on a CD.

Then you get little gems that show Buniatishvili at her best: a heartbreaking account of the Marcello-Bach Adagio, a straightforward (and thus infinitely more effective) Gymnopédie No 1, the delicious and unexpected choices of Serge Gainsbourg’s ‘La Javanaise’, Villa-Lobos’s Valsa da dor and, best of all, the Sicilienne from the Vivaldi-Bach Concerto in D minor, BWV596. Sticking out like a sore thumb is the only upbeat number, an arrangement (by Buniatishvili) of the Badinerie from BWV1067, a duet with her older sister Gvantsa lasting all of 1'20". This strange album, not one to lift the spirits in these dismal days, is accompanied by a booklet that should go straight to Pseuds Corner.

Sign up for FREE access to Apple Music for one month

Gramophone Print

  • Print Edition

From £6.87 / month

Subscribe

The Gramophone Digital Club

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive
  • Reviews Database
  • Events & Offers

From £9.20 / month

Subscribe

Gramophone Reviews

  • Reviews Database

From £6.87 / month

Subscribe

Gramophone Digital Edition

  • Digital Edition
  • Digital Archive

From £6.87 / month

Subscribe

If you are a library, university or other organisation that would be interested in an institutional subscription to Gramophone please click here for further information.